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Fw: Federal Judge Orders Oral Arguments in Constitutional Challenge to NY's Income-Base Child Support Statutes

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  • BSI International, Inc.
    BSI International, Inc. has received and is distributing a press release concerning oral arguments that have been ordered by a Federal judge in connection with
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2004
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      BSI International, Inc. has received and is distributing a press release concerning oral arguments that have been ordered by a Federal judge in connection with a legal action initiated by Mr. Harold L. Rosenberger which challenges the constitutionality of New York State's income-based child support statutes.  The details appear below.  Mr. Rosenberger can be reached via his e-mail address of .HLRosenberger@....
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      PRESS RELEASE

      August 3rd, 2004

      Federal Judge Orders Oral Arguments in Constitutional Challenge to NY’s Income-Base Child Support Statutes

      A federal judge has ordered oral arguments in a case that challenges the constitutionality of New York State's income-based child support statutes. Highland resident Harold L. Rosenberger filed the action on April 29th, 2004. The Defendants are the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), Robert Doar, commissioner of OTDA, and Ulster County Family Court.   For further information, please communicate directly with Mr. Rosenberger at

      Mr. Rosenberger's suit asserts that the Right to Privacy guarantees parents - married, single or divorced - the right to determine how much they spend for the benefit of their minor children. The State of New York does not require that married parents living in an intact household with their minor children spend a certain percentage of their income on their children and thus, according to the lawsuit, the State cannot hold divorced parents to a different standard.

      The lawsuit claims the State cannot substitute its judgment for the parents, but can only intrude into the Privacy protected Zone of Parenting to prevent harm to a child. Currently, when a parent divorces the State automatically takes a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income and mandates the parent pay that amount or face contempt proceedings and imprisonment for noncompliance. The State is improperly invading the parent's right to care for and to make decisions relating to his or her child as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment and United States Supreme Court rulings.

      The Defendants, represented by the Office of the Attorney General, failed to respond to a federal court order demanding that they file a formal reply in a timely manner to Mr. Rosenberger's complaint. Accordingly, Mr. Rosenberger notified the court of the Defendant's non-compliance and the clerk of the court made Entry of Default. Only after the Entry of Default did the Defendants appear in the action.

      As a result of the Entry of Default, the Defendant's filed two motions - one to vacate the Entry of Default and one to dismiss the Mr. Rosenberger's complaint altogether. Mr. Rosenberger in turn filed two cross-motions - one for Default Judgment and one to Strike the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the complaint. The court as a result of these motions and cross motions required the oral arguments.

      Mr. Rosenberger had made a good-faith effort to resolve all the motions before the court. He was willing to stipulate that he would withdrawal his Motion for Default Judgment provided that the Defendants withdrawal their Motion to Dismiss and agree to allow the case to be decided on the merits. The Defendants and the Attorney General rejected this offer. Now, ironically, the Office of the Attorney General argues that Default Judgment should not be granted because, "Clearly, the statutory scheme at issue is of such great importance that the equities require that defendants be given the opportunity to defend the instant litigation."

      Mr. Rosenberger agrees. "Let the case be decided on the merits - that's all I've asked for from the beginning. If the Attorney General of New York feels that the income-based child support statutes are fair and constitutional, they should have no problem defending them and allowing the case be decided on the merits."

      Both sides agree that parents should provide support for their minor children. But Rosenberger, representing all New York parents, points out that the federal constitution sets the standard for support as being that which is needed to prevent harm to the child. The State, on the other hand, automatically takes a percentage of a non-married parent’s income for child support. Part of the reason the State does this is that it increases the matching funds that the State receives from the federal government, according to Rosenberger.

      Rosenberger's lawsuit is about the State overreaching its constitutionally delegated authority, especially in light of the fact that it benefits financially at the expense of New York parents.

      The oral arguments are set for October 16th, 2004 at 9:00 AM in front of Judge Gary L. Sharpe at the U.S. District Court in Albany.

       
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